Named for the famous Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the town of Cody was founded in northwest Wyoming in 1896. The county seat of Park County, Cody keeps its western heritage alive through nightly rodeos, gun fight re-enactments, cowboy music and old western-style buildings. Located only 52 miles from Yellowstone National Park, it is a popular destination for many tourists and is home to almost 10,000 residents year round. Popular recreational activities in the area include rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding.
Just a 25 minute drive from Cody lies the town of Powell, home to approximately 6,440 people. Powell was originally a work camp named Camp Colter in honor of the famous mountain man John Colter. The camp’s residents worked to create a system of canals that would transform the desert landscape into irrigated fields. It's because of these irrigated fields and the Buffalo Bill Dam that the area now has abundant grain and sugar beet fields. Residents of Camp Colter later renamed the growing community Powell after Major John Wesley Powell. The town lies between the Big Horn Mountains and the Absaroka Range, which makes it a beautiful area with easy access to many outdoor activities.
A trip to Cody would not be complete without a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This impressive historical center houses a research library and five museums: the Draper Natural History Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, and the Buffalo Bill Museum. Founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of "Buffalo Bill" Cody, the Center is the oldest and most comprehensive museum complex of the West in existence. In fact, the New York Times called the Buffalo Bill Center of the West "among the nation's most remarkable museums." Another fun fact? The Cody Firearms Museum inside the Center showcases the most comprehensive collection of American firearms in the world, with over 7,000 firearms and 30,000 firearms-related artifacts!
The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is a museum dedicated to telling the story of the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center,” which opened in 1942 and imprisoned more than 14,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. The last of Heart Mountain's prisoners left Wyoming in 1945. Today, the Interpretive Center displays photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the wartime relocation of Japanese Americans and the anti-Asian prejudice in America that helped facilitate it. Special emphasis is given to the experience of incarceration, violations of civil liberties and civil rights, and constitutional issues. The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center has won many awards for its exhibits. The next time you’re in Powell, be sure to stop here.
Cody’s rodeo history started over 100 years ago with Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, and is today known to some as the rodeo capital of the world! The Cody Stampede Rodeo is held every July 1st - 4th and is the single longest running professional rodeo. Here, cowboys compete and ride the best rodeo stock in the country. The event also boasts a craft fair, food booths, and daily parades. There are plenty of activities for the kids, including face painting and roping lessons! Can't get enough rodeo? The Cody Nite Rodeo takes place every night from June 1st through August 31st.
The Homesteader Days Festival is a fun way to wrap up the summer in Powell: Here, you can learn about what homesteading at the beginning of the 20th century was like! The festival features a truck and tractor show, blacksmith demos, antique machinery demonstrations and hand water pumps in the street. There's also food, music and activities for kids! Also part of the Homesteader Days Festival is a Bag Toss and Bourbon event. This fundraising event has live music, cocktails and delicious food for those ages 21 and over.
After exploring Yellowstone National Park, shopping in downtown Cody or attending the rodeo, a stop at the Cody Cattle Company is a must! This unique restaurant offers nightly entertainment from award-winning musician Ryan Martin and the Triple C Cowboys. This special performance ends at 7:30 p.m., which gives you plenty of time to go to Cody’s Nite Rodeo. The Cody Cattle Company offers family-style meals, including: beef brisket, steak, BBQ chicken, potatoes, baked beans, corn bread, salad, applesauce and brownies. The meals are unlimited, so you can fill your plate as many times as you’d like! Make sure you stop by and see why this restaurant is so popular!
Sit down to a delicious dining at the Lamplighter Inn & Restaurant. This restaurant has been serving Powell for 30 years. For lunch, the Lamplighter Inn Restaurant offers salads, burgers, sandwiches, steak and chicken. For dinner, they offer appetizers such as bleu cheese mushrooms, crab cakes and onion rings. They offer pasta, chicken, steak, hamburgers, and seafood as entrees as well. They even have a few private rooms that can accommodate a special event for your group. They also have a lounge that serves domestic, micro brewed beers and fine wine. Go see why the Lamplighter Inn & Restaurant is a favorite among the locals!
Cody is the best of the American West. The east entrance into Yellowstone National Park, Cody has scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. The people who live and work here make Cody great! There is an independent spirit and a cowboy work ethic in Cody. And, with over 1 million visitors a year, Cody is a small town with the infrastructure of a city. Simply put, Cody a great place to visit, live, raise a family or conduct business.
Cody couldn’t be in a more beautiful location, and the we truly have some of the best people in the world here. I thought I wanted to leave and live somewhere bigger, I was wrong, you really can’t beat Cody for enjoyable living.
Powell’s greatest asset is the people. We are a community that comes together to support one another. I am proud to live here and be raising my family in the great state of Wyoming.